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Lenoir-Rhyne announces featured speaker, Business Leader of the Year for October event
Lenoir-Rhyne announces featured speaker, Business Leader of the Year for October event

Lenoir-Rhyne University will host its annual business luncheon Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Lake Hickory Country Club in Hickory. The event will feature guest speaker Mike Collins, host of WFAE's "Charlotte Talks" and honor D. Paul Thompson, founder and chairman of Hickory-based Transportation Insight, as the 36th Business Leader of the Year (BLOY).

Thompson is an industry-leading executive, serving in his current role since 1999. Thompson has founded or co-founded six highly successful companies, including his portfolio's flagship brand Transportation Insight, a global enterprise logistics provider with more than $3.9 billion in supply chain spend under management and more than 1,500 clients that range from midcap to Fortune 500 companies. His strategic vision and leadership achievements make him an exceptional role model for LR students and the community and an ideal selection for the University's BLOY.

"When we select the Business Leader of the Year, we honor a leader and organization that have a commitment to Lenoir-Rhyne and to the community," said University President Dr. Fred Whitt. "Through his vision and servant leadership, Thompson is an exemplary business leader, who recognizes the role a company can play in strengthening the community, partnering with local schools and businesses, and providing exceptional service to its customers."

The event also will feature Collins, whose popular talk show is a forum for the discussion of politics, the arts, culture, social issues, literature, human interest, the environment, and more. Collins began his career in broadcasting at stations in the Washington, D.C., area while attending the University of Maryland. He worked for several years at ABC's WMAL radio in Washington as an on-air personality and the station's music director. That job took him to South Carolina where he became program director and on-air personality at Columbia's WIS radio and hosted "Carolina Journal" for South Carolina ETV. He joined WBT radio in Charlotte in 1985 and served as an on-air personality, program director, weekend weathercaster and hosted "Top of the Day."

For more information about tickets to the event, contact Jayne Abernethy, assistant director of advancement relations, at or 828.328.7081.

The BLOY award is sponsored by the University's Business Council, which was established in 1983 to promote a better understanding of LR and its programs within the business community, to provide unique learning opportunities for students and businesses, and to support the LR giving programs. The University recognizes each year a man or woman who exemplifies the outstanding gifts of leadership within his or her business as well as within the surrounding community. This individual is selected by a University committee from a number of individuals.